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'Hooked on Phonics' worked for her

April 24, 2014


It was a catchphrase that became a national sensation in the early 1990s, and sure enough, it worked for Stephens senior Emily Collette.
Collette was the voice of the national “Hooked on Phonics Worked for Me!” radio and television campaign when she was a tot.
In fact, at the time she recorded the phrase, it wasn’t exactly true—she was so young, she was barely reading. As part of her compensation, though, Collette received a full set of Hooked on Phonics cassette tapes and ultimately proved the company right.
Today, Collette is co-editor of the Stephens literary journal, Harbinger. This year’s edition, “Shadow box” debuted Friday during a standing-room only reception and reading at the Vault II.
Collette and co-editor Emily Marchant were pleasantly surprised by the large turnout and the event in general.
“I was really happy with the readers,” Marchant said. “They did a really good job.”
During the event, students read poetry and selections from non-fiction and fiction pieces. Collette, who is majoring in digital filmmaking, read part of her non-fiction piece about the Renz prison near Jefferson City. The prison is also the basis of her senior film, which debuts Saturday during the Film Showcase at 7:30 p.m. at Macklanburg Playhouse.
Earlier this year, she and Chase Thompson, assistant professor of film, created a video about her work in the national Hooked on Phonics campaign and entered it into Gimme Truth at the True/False Film Festival.
Collette got the gig through her father, who works in the voice-over industry in Minneapolis.

“They needed a kid’s voice and my dad suggested me,” she said. “I guess it really worked. I love reading, and I loved working on Harbinger.

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